February 6, 2017
University of Michigan faculty, staff and students are being called upon to be the "leaders and best" in recycling and waste reduction in the annual RecycleMania Battle of the Buildings Competition.
Building occupants are competing in the areas of highest recycling rate, most-improved recycling rate and largest waste-reduction rate.
"RecycleMania is a great opportunity to engage the campus community and encourage waste-reducing behaviors that we hope will continue beyond the competition," says Alison Richardson, recycling coordinator with Waste Reduction and Recycling in the Office of Campus Sustainability.
Simultaneous to Battle of the Buildings, U-M also is competing against more than 250 schools and colleges in the national RecycleMania competition through April. 1.
The university is competing in RecycleMania in the categories of:
• Per Capita Classic, the largest weight of recyclables per capita.
• Total Recycling, the largest collection of recyclables.
• Waste Minimization, the least amount of waste per capita.
• Diversion Champion, the highest recycling rate during the competition.
Participation in both competitions directly supports the university's broader commitment to sustainability, known as Planet Blue, and its goals in the areas of waste prevention and community awareness.
In addition, OCS is working to standardize recycling, composting and landfill bins and signage to ease the practice of waste reduction across campus.
OCS will monitor recycling and trash levels on a weekly basis and compare results with baseline levels reached in 2016. This is the 11th year U-M has hosted Battle of the Buildings.
Last year's competitions resulted in the university collecting more than 1 million pounds of recyclables, placing 11th nationally in total amount of recyclables collected during RecycleMania.
New this year, Battle of the Buildings is encouraging waste-reduction behavior with weekly themes promoted on Planet Blue's social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter and on the Waste Reduction and Recycling website.
Last year's winners of Battle of the Buildings were:
• Recycling Rate: U-M Transportation Research Institute/Mobility Transformation Center with 87.3 percent recycled.
• Most Improved Recycling Rate: Nichols Arboretum Facilities with a 168.6 percent increase over its 2015 baseline.
• Waste Reduction: South Hall with 31.6 percent less total waste than its 2015 baseline.